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Mountain Views and Free Food: A day in my life at NCSL

Aug 21 2019

There's never any shortage of post-it notes scattered throughout my desk. (photo credit: Theresa Nelson)

By Theresa Nelson '22

Hometown: Lone Tree, Colorado

Major: Public Policy and Spanish

Elections Policy Intern, National Conference of State Legislatures

Out West Student Blog




Every morning when I drive into work, if I look to my left, I get a panoramic view of the Rocky Mountains. I have loved taking in the beauty of Colorado this whole summer as much as I’ve loved the experience and learning opportunities that I’ve been provided at the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL). As I prepared for my summer, I worried about what my days would be like. I had never worked a job in an office before and didn't know what to expect when I arrived on my frist day. It took a few weeks to adjust to the routine of commuting and working, but I gradually got used to my new lifestyle. Now, as my time at NCSL draws to a close, I couldn’t be more thankful for this experience!

When I get to the office, I’m greeted by my coworkers whose offices are set up around mine in a pod. After a quick chat, my work day begins. Most of my days are spent researching election policies of different states. In practice, this looks like digging through online versions of states’ Constitutions or Statutes, calling local and state election officials, and sometimes reaching out to state legislators who have taken an active interest in certain topics. On occasion, my research is then shared directly with a constituent who has requested specific information. Other times, research discoveries I have found particularly interesting get published on an NCSL blog and are made available to the public. This process has challenged me as a writer and communicator and definitely improved my writing skill and ability to present information concisely.

But before I go home, my day wouldn’t be complete without a bite of free office food . Whether it be Monday’s pizza party, Wednesday’s barbecue, or tomorrow’s birthday cake, there have been plenty of opportunities for me to fill my stomach while getting to know my coworkers. The amount of knowledge and passion in this building is incredible, and every little bit of it that I get to soak up is a blessing.

And finally, in the afternoon, I drive back home with the mountains to my right.

In the spirit of exploring the West, I took a short, weekend road trip to historic New Mexico. This picture was taken in front of the IAIA Museum of Contemporary Native Arts in downtown Santa Fe. (photo credit: Theresa Nelson)

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